RULING OF LAW TO THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
In Decision 1244 the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church reversed my ruling that the request for a Ruling of Law presented to me by Rev. John Elford was moot and hypothetical and therefore not a proper question of law. The matter was remanded to me for an opinion within 60 days. The copy of the Decision forwarded to me was dated October 26, 2013.
The question asked of me by Rev. Elford was:
“In response to the Southwest Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry’s decision to remove Mary Ann Kaiser from the Candidacy process at their June 6, 2013 meeting, I request a ruling of law as to whether a Board of Ordained Ministry can discontinue the candidacy of a certified candidate for ordained ministry who has been appropriately recommended by a District Committee on Ordained Ministry without an interview and examination by the Board of Ordained Ministry?”
Decision of Law
It is the responsibility of the Board of Ordained Ministry to examine and interview all candidates recommended to it by a District Committee on Ordained Ministry (Par. 635.2h, 635.2j, and 324.11). The Austin District Committee recommended the candidate (Par. 324.10). In this case, the responsibility for full examination by the Board of Ordained Ministry was not carried out. Therefore, the action of the Board in effectively discontinuing the candidacy of Mary Ann Kaiser was not appropriate according to the Discipline and is of no effect. Since the action of the Clergy Session was to uphold the action of the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the action of the Board of Ordained Ministry was not in keeping with the Discipline, I rule that Ms. Kaiser remains a Candidate for Ministry and is due full examination, including an interview, by the Board of Ordained Ministry.